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Slow fishing on pearlside and searching for capelin

Seven pelagic vessels have been fishing for pearlside so far this year and Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson, head of HB Grandi’s pelagic division, says that fishing has been slow and comments that they are now waiting for the results of the Marine Research Institute’s capelin research.

Two HB Grandi vessels, Faxi RE and Ingunn AK, sailed last Saturday while Lundey NS is in drydock in Reykjavík for routine maintenance. Lundey is expected to be ready to start on pearlside next Friday.

According to Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson, last Sunday was spent searching for marks of pearlside that were worth shooting on, but it wasn’t until Monday that there were any results, after which the trawlers could fish through the daylight hours for hauls of only between 70 and 100 tonnes each. Catches improved yesterday with between 100 and 150 tonnes each for the day. Each of the two trawlers now has around 200 tonnes of pearlside on board, caught on grounds where they were also fishing at the end of last year in the Grindavík Deeps.


Searching for capelin

Research vessels Árni Fridriksson and Bjarni Sæmundsson sailed yesterday to begin the capelin search and Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson said that he hopes they will be able to go over grounds where capelin are normally found at this time of year, and this is a sweep that can last for six to seven days. He said that there is also sea ice over a large part of the Westfjords grounds and this could affect the research as the capelin could be under the ice where the two vessels would be unable to locate it.

Originally only Árni Fridriksson was scheduled to take part in the Marine Research Institute’s capelin research cruise, until pelagic operators agreed that they would cover the costs of adding Bjarni Sæmundsson to the capelin research, which was felt to be a better option than sending fishing vessels to search alongside Árni Fridriksson.